What Is Commercial Marketing? With Definitions and Benefits

Updated September 30, 2022

Commercial marketing is an essential strategy that companies and organizations can use to connect with customers and increase product sales. Organizations and individuals who work outside of commercial business can also use the tactics it involves to share messages or understand their target audience. This means that, regardless of your industry, it may be beneficial to understand what commercial marketing is and how it works. In this article, we explain what commercial marketing is, list its benefits, describe how it works in six steps and compare commercial marketing versus social marketing to help you improve your knowledge of both.

What is commercial marketing?

Commercial marketing is the act of encouraging customers to engage with products or services to benefit a commercial enterprise. These customers might be individuals or other corporations. Commercial marketing seeks to convert prospective customers into paying customers with a relationship to the product and brand. To accomplish this, commercial marketing professionals develop marketing campaigns that help prospective customers understand why a particular product might benefit their life.

Companies can use commercial marketing to promote products like cars, electronics, clothes, accessories, books, toys or furniture. This type of marketing is also known as retail marketing and usually occurs in a physical or online store. A company can also use commercial marketing to promote non-retail products like real estate or raw materials. Additionally, it can help promote services including advising, accounting or maintenance.

Benefits of commercial marketing

Here are a few benefits of commercial marketing:

Increasing awareness

Commercial marketing can help a company increase revenue by introducing more customers to the company and product. Commercial marketers might use advertising tactics to reach a new customer base or target a new group of individuals. For example, a company could use commercial marketing to introduce customers in a new geographical region to a product. They could also use it to educate consumers about company values or product benefits.

Related: Your Guide to Online Marketing: What It Is and How to Use It

Improving sales

Successful commercial marketing can help customers understand why they should buy a product, which may lead to higher sales numbers for the company. This can help a company gain more revenue, which it may then use to develop new products and further expand its company influence. Commercial marketing can also be a useful way for a company to distinguish itself from competitors. Advertisers might use it to educate customers about why their product is superior to other similar products, creating a competitive sales advantage.

Improving branding

Branding is the practice of creating an image and identity through a name, symbol, color, slogan or other design elements. Commercial marketing can be a useful tool in developing company brands and expanding the number of customers who associate the brand with their needs. A brand can also reflect the mission and values of the company, which might interest customers who share similar values. An appealing brand can encourage more customers to invest their time, attention and money in the company and its products, so improving company branding can be a useful task for commercial marketers.

Read more: What Branding Is and Why It's Important

How does commercial marketing work?

There are a variety of commercial marketing strategies that can help organizations influence customer behavior. If you're developing a commercial marketing campaign, here are some common steps that you can follow:

1. Develop a product

First, develop or acquire a product. You can consider company values or mission statements to decide which product to develop. It can be useful to create a product that relates to your existing company brand. For example, a high-end sporting goods store in Seattle might develop a new eco-friendly water bottle to target locals with an interest in sports and sustainability. You can also develop commercial marketing campaign goals. These might include the brand identity you'd like to promote or a specific sales goal.

2. Identify your target audience

A target audience is the group of ideal customers that your product might appeal to the most. To determine your target audience, think about what needs your product fulfills and which groups are most likely to encounter those needs. You can consider demographic information like age, gender, location, religion and socioeconomic group. You can also think about life events that might make an individual part of the target audience. For example, a baby food company might target new parents or grandparents.

3. Perform market research

To prepare your product for the market, it can be helpful to perform market research. Market research is the process of gathering and analyzing data to better understand your target audience. It can also help you understand what the current demand is like for the product and identify potential competitors. Market research strategies include focus testing, interviews, primary research, secondary research, focus groups, surveys and test product launches. You can use what you learn to help focus your target audience or determine your commercial marketing strategy.

Read more: A Guide To Conducting Market Research

4. Develop a marketing strategy

Your marketing strategy is the set of commercial marketing techniques you can use to achieve your sales goal. These can include print methods like advertising in newspapers, creating brochures, distributing flyers or putting up posters. A marketing strategy can also include online tactics like pay-per-click advertising, social media action, search engine optimization, email campaigns, blog posts, articles or banner ads. Additionally, consider a client reward or referral program to encourage customers to share your product with friends.

5. Launch your product

To launch your product, you can set a specific launch sales goal and create promotional material for the release. You might host a launch event to create attention. Alternately, you could host an online launch event with special deals in the first 24 hours of the product launch to generate sales and excitement. It may also be useful to invite customers to submit product reviews or send product samples to professional reviewers or influencers. This can help you develop positive press surrounding your product. It can also help you identify any product challenges and address them quickly.

6. Monitor and adjust

It's useful to continue to monitor commercial marketing strategies and the product sales after an initial product launch. This can help marketers identify trends in sales numbers, which may help them better understand your target audience. You can also determine which marketing techniques are most successful and which might benefit from improvement. This can help a company connect with more customers and increase its revenue.

Read more: 10 Marketing Strategies To Grow Your Business

Commercial marketing vs. social marketing

The goal of commercial marketing is to encourage customer purchasing behavior to earn company profit. Commercial organizations can use it to educate potential customers about how a product can improve their life. This differs from social marketing, which aims to influence viewer behavior to create a better society. Social marketing might involve educating the public about issues like public health, environmental sustainability and public safety. Social marketers can also offer suggestions to help viewers change their behavior for the better. Organizations like schools, parks, government offices, non-profit organizations and public sector organizations may be more likely to perform social marketing.

There are also some similarities between commercial marketing and social marketing. Social marketers might use commercial advertising techniques to help spread awareness about these public principles. These shared techniques can involve market research, the identification of target markets and segmentation of audience. Both types of marketing can benefit from branding to help viewers remember the message, and from continuous campaign assessment to help the marketing professionals adjust their technique in real time.

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